Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fall Overflow

There are a few things I get really excited about during fall.  Along with scarves, lattes and boots, fall fruits top my list.  I honestly can not stop myself from compulsively buying bags of fall fresh apples.  Recently I spent an entire morning at the Union Square market drinking apple cider, buying different types of apples and munching on an apple cider donut. That being said, I always have more apples on hand than I can eat. My plethora of apples leaves me thinking about creative ways to cook them. The thought of delicious crisp fall apples going bad is just too upsetting.

Homemade applesauce is always a perfect way to cook a large amount of apples, especially to preserve the apples.  Applesauce is a great accompaniment to fall dishes like roast pork or baked chicken.  It is also a wonderful topping for a scoop of vanilla ice cream or to blend into oatmeal in the morning. In this recipe, I added some fall pears (another compulsive purchase).  The pears do not break down as easily as the apples so they provides some structure in the applesauce and are ideal if you want to create a chunky sauce.  I keep the skin on both the pears and apples because I like the texture and flavor it provides.  Not to mention, that's where most of the nutrients are located!

Pear Applesauce
6 fall fresh apples (Gala were used in this recipe)
2 pears
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons of honey
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups of water, divided

Clean and dice the apples and pears into an approximately 1 inch dice.  Add the apples, pears and 1 cup of water to a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce to a simmer.  Allow to cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  After most of the water has been absorbed add additional water in small amounts, allowing it fully absorb each time.  Continue to allow the sauce to simmer, adding water and stirring until it cooks down into an ideal texture.  Add the cinnamon stick, honey, salt and nutmeg and simmer for about 10 more minutes.

What makes this bite better?
This homemade applesauce beats a store bought sauce by reducing the amount of added sugar. The honey adds the sweetness without using any additional processed sugar.  Keeping the skin on maintains nutrient content and using pear adds texture and additional flavor.  It is the perfect side to have on hand all fall long.

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